5. Vanguard had a hardcore following of Vanboys who would give their life in defense of the vision. After all the support this following had given Sigil and Brad McQuaid, they were shafted on at least one or two occasions. Age of Conan has a loyal following of closed beta testers who have been shafted by Funcom's decision to partner with File Planet in a paid lottery system to get "Open" beta keys.
4. Late in development, Sigil started using financial motives for the creative and technical decision making process. Late in development, Funcom started using financial excuses for the methods of digitial distribution for Open Beta and Early Release.
3. Towards the end of technical beta and well into open beta, many game breaking bugs were reported to Sigil which were ignored and subsequently were present in live release which contributed to the eventual downfall of the game. In the AoC PVP beta, game breaking bugs such as wall hacking, dropping through the world and other similar bugs to Vanguard appeared. Many fans report that they had told Funcom about these bugs long before the PVP weekend, but the bugs were not fixed before opening the game to the masses.
2. Vanguard had an intellectual vision that did not match the actual product. The "Vision" was always present in marketing and hype, but never materialized in the game and the vision often got in the way of the actual game itself. Age of Conan's has a vision to stay true to the lore of Conan. The vision of blood, guts, gore and boobs seems to take precedence over technical issues and gameplay.
1. Prior to Vanguard's release, everyone knew the game was not ready. When the story broke that Sigil was in deep shit financially , Sigilhad to release the game prematurely at all costs in Kamikazee like fashion. There are rumblings across message boards that Age of Conan does not appear to be a product ready to release in less than 30 days. There has also been hints and undertones that the current release date for Age of Conan cannot be pushed back or delayed because of financial / investor concerns.
While I'm not saying AoC is doomed like Vanguard, I am saying that there are some striking similarities, though not as drastic and apparent as they were in Vanguard.
It will be fun to see how things transpire over the next few weeks before release. Will Funcom be the first MMO publisher to attempt to mend their relationship with t he community or will they continue to stand on the higher ground as many mmorpg developers before them have stood, defiantly shunning what the industry calls... The Vocal Minority.